Report: Bears will “respectfully wait” to comment on Roquan Smith trade request

NFL: JUN 15 Chicago Bears Minicamp
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Bears linebacker Roquan Smith went public on Tuesday morning with his request for a trade. The Bears have not yet said whether they’ll give him what he wants. For now, they apparently won’t.

“I am told that the Bears are going to respectfully wait to comment on Roquan Smith requesting a trade,” tweeted Stacey Dales of NFL Network.

It makes sense for the Bears to be discreet. If they tell the world that Smith is available, their leverage becomes undermined. Besides, they don’t need to say anything. Smith’s request lets any interested team know that there’s good reason to make a call.

The fact that Smith doesn’t have an agent complicates the process. Interested teams can’t contact his agent (or vice-versa) to talk about what it would take to sign him, if they were to trade for him. And, yes, that sort of thing happens all the time. It will continue, even after the Dolphins getting caught red-flippered. But it’s impossible for teams to have those back-channel talks with a player who represents himself.

Agents who represent players throughout the league have constant reasons to talk to coaches and General Managers. They can cap a conversation about one player by having a hypothetical discussion about a player who technically is off limits. Smith can’t do that.

Of course, Smith could potentially secure permission to shop himself. The Bears hold the cards in that regard. Even then, it’s necessarily more complicated for a player to canvas the entire league in an effort to find a team that will pay him what he wants while giving the Bears what they need before they’d agree to a trade.

It’s unclear where it goes from here. Smith has been holding in. At some point, the impasse needs to break, either with a new contract or a commitment to play under the existing one. Obviously, efforts to work out a second deal have failed to date. The fact that Smith has opted to take a public stand against staying with the Bears proves it.

Maybe it was exactly the move he needed to make. Maybe it will break the logjam and get Smith the contract he has earned through four NFL seasons.

Remember this — the rookie wage scale flowed from a desire to prevent busts from removing money from the system. Players who pan out deserve to get new contracts as soon as possible. Given that Smith plays a position that entails a high degree of physical risk, he’s smart to be taking a stand to get what he should. We’ll now wait to see how the Bears respond to it.

11 responses to “Report: Bears will “respectfully wait” to comment on Roquan Smith trade request

  1. Nothing like a snowflake to feel all disrespected. It is the modern way. Whine and threaten and pout and to demand a trade. I wish a GM would call a player’ bluff and have him spend some time holding his breath to see how much a man he really is.

  2. What is it with the players today, oh I’m so unhappy, oh I need more money, Oh I want traded, Ben seems to be more on spot each day

  3. I know they would never trade in division, but this is a guy that the Lions should pony up for. He’s a superstar is a desperate position of need.

  4. The intent was not to have the rookie wage rate to have players with good seasons to extort their employers to get new contracts while the rookie contract is in place. The contract binds the team to that player at that set rate. Once that contract expires, the player can do all his whining on his own time.

  5. He’s a tackling machine. One of the best in the league. But tacklers don’t always get paid top tier either. His sacks, FF and INTs are not impressive and that’s what teams pay big money for. I hope he comes to his senses, like he did his rookie year, and works something out. I’d rather see him on the field than off. BUT, if we do trade him, I hope we get a haul.

  6. Even if the Bears were to talk with Smith this close to the start of the season it’s not like he is prepared to spend the time to engage in negotiations. I understand him wanting a new deal and that is his prerogative but get an agent man. The players really have no idea what they are getting themselves into by forgoing an agent. It’s not like a team throws a number out there and you get to say no until you see a figure you agree to.

  7. Let him sit, his value drops.

    Market will dictate what they’re willing to pay and my guess is not many teams have the space/picks to make it work.

  8. I read the Bears backloaded the proposed contract with not much new money. Roquan has more than earned a new deal – he’s our best player. This is the second time, the Bears have tried to cheap him out. But I can’t help but think as he’s acting as his own agent, he’s not playing this right. A fool has himself as a client after all. I can only hope this is some sort of move to bring the Bears back to the table to talk. This needs to be sorted – it’s not as though we can afford to trade away the help, especially as not much seems to be happening on the offensive side of the ball.

  9. It’s probably just not the money — I doubt he is too excited in playing through a re-build during his prime.

  10. Mr. Smith cannot put points on the board so his contribution to what is mainly wrong with the Bears will be small whether he plays or is traded.

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